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Back to School: September 605

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Back to School: September 605

Simdale Valley

Monday, September 7

Elise Petite, the kindergarten teacher is 32.  Harrison Petite, Charlotte McElveen, Sienna McElveen, and Lucas Munch are 5.

Adrianna Tesla, the primary grades teacher (1st – 6th)  is 44. Yuki Ono, Madeleine Bright, and Elsa Bjergsen are 10 and going into 5th grade.  Marsha Bruenig and Isaiah Gavigan are 11 and going into 6th grade.

Previous Elementary School Update / Next Elementary School Update

Elise looked at her kindergarten class as they entered the room on Monday morning.  She had mostly the same students she had last year.  Lucas Munch, a little blond-headed boy, was new, and Benjiman Smith, who had been in her class last year, had moved away.

Harrison, Elise’s son, led the line, feeling confident since his mom was his teacher and this was his second year in her class.  Charlotte McElveen was dressed and groomed perfectly, no doubt her outfit was carefully chosen by her mother, Laney, and little Charlotte walked with the same elegant posture as her mom.  In contrast, her cousin, Sienna, looked like she had picked out her own outfit for the first day of school, with mismatched socks and a unicorn tee, and wore the sleepy expression of a child who was not used to getting up early.

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Elise greeted her  students, who were very excited to tell her about their summer vacation escapades.

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Harrison headed right over to the classroom pets– his favorite part of his mom’s classroom.  The frogs were his favorite, but his mom had also ordered a blue morpho butterfly and some ladybugs.  He looked carefully at all the branches and leaves in the butterfly terrarium, hoping to see eggs. Harrison and his mom were hoping the butterflies would lay eggs and the class could see the life cycle.

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Charlotte McElveen informed her teacher that she was reading junior novels and Newberry award winning books on her own, and could she move to the primary class?  Elise told her she was very proud of her progress, and learning to get along with everybody, as well as practicing art, music, science, and math were all important too.

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The class settled in for the first Morning Meeting, and finally got to share their summer news with everyone.  Lucas had visited family in Europe during the holiday.  Sienna had spent a lot of time with her grandparents, and camped at the Yuma National Park near Fort Strange with them.  Charlotte listed the books she had read, and the responsibilities she had maintained during the summer to help her mom with her baby brother, Ethan.  Harrison had mostly played outside and searched for critters and fossils, which were all over the place in Simdale Valley, an ancient lake bed between the mountains and the bay.

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Meanwhile, the Fifth and Sixth grade students  had heard that Mrs. Newman, their teacher from last year, no longer lived in Simdale Valley and they were excited to meet their new teacher.    Mrs. Newman was known for being mean, and they were hopeful that this year’s teacher would be fun, instead.  This year’s students were Elsa, Yuki, Marsha, Madeleine, and Isaiah, who was late on the first morning.

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Their new teacher introduced herself.  Her name was Mrs. Tesla, and she said she had high expectations of the students, and didn’t put up with silliness.

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Isaiah, who had just arrived, and felt sorely disappointed that the new teacher sounded just as mean as Mrs. Newman, decided to put that assertion to the test, and made a mocking face to see what she would do.

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Mrs. Tesla gave him a look that assured everyone, that no one wanted to see what consequence came after that look.

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Marsha Bruenig made a point of picking up her reading book and heading straight to her desk.  Yuki was carefully watching the new teacher, while Madeleine had already started doing the work written on the board under the date.

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The students worked hard on math and reading until lunchtime.

Mrs. Tesla left them in the lunchroom and went to warm up her own lunch and take her short break.  Today was a really long day, with the Primary Open House scheduled for the evening.

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Later that day, the students moved to centers– science, art, computer science, and writing.

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It was a chilly evening, and there was a buzz in the air as everyone bustled into the warm, brightly lit schoolhouse, for the Primary Open House.  The primary student’s families headed to the auditorium for an opening session.

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First, Laney McElveen, the head of the school board and acting principal, welcomed the primary parents and students, and introduced the teachers.  The primary teacher, Mrs. Tesla, was new to teaching, but she told the students that Mrs. Tesla had been a law enforcement officer and they would find that she didn’t put up with any nonsense in her classroom.

The new onsite high school classes would be starting next week, using the second floor classroom and the new basement classrooms.  Mrs. McElveen said that because the primary students would be sharing the building with the high school students now, it was essential that everyone follow the rules and expectations.

“Proper order will help us have a safe school,” she told the students.  “So when we transition, or when we are in public areas of the school, it is important for you to pay attention to the instructions your teacher gives you.”

“If we show that we can be responsible at school, I am planning for us to start the tradition of a 5th/6th grade overnight camping trip to the Cold Shore National Park in the spring,” she told the students.  For many of the fifth and sixth grade students, a school camping trip would be their first time away from their parents overnight, and the teachers thought it was a good time for such a milestone in independence.

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After the assembly, Mrs. Tesla led the students back to the classroom, and parents were free to explore the school.

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Isaiah was curious about the new girl, Elsa, but she just smiled, passed him, and went straight to her dad when he came into the room.

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Nathan and Mary Gavigan introduced themselves to the new teacher.

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Mary had already read in Isaiah’s home-school communication log that he had been disrespectful to the teacher this morning.  She told Mrs. Tesla, she was worried about him getting off on the wrong foot and that she and Nathan had already spoken with him, and took away his TV privileges tomorrow since they were not home tonight.

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Mrs. Tesla appreciated the support, and smiled and said she was positive that things were going to be smoother now, that Isaiah was just testing her out.  Yuki’s mom and Elsa’s dad were both waiting to meet Mrs. Tesla too.

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The parents signed up for the parent portal, and Mrs. Tesla showed them the reading and math resources they could access at home, and made sure everyone had their log-in information.  Adrianna was quite pleased with her class and her parents this year, thinking it seemed like it was going to be a good year.

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Gameplay Notes:

  • I am quite happy to have most of the school rebuilt in Sims 4 now, and happy with how it turned out.  I need to add a high school humanities classroom and am thinking about eventually adding a principal’s office, nurse’s office, counselor’s office, and other specialized classrooms, but Simdale Valley doesn’t have the capacity to pay a nurse or counselor full time and the acting principal right now is Laney McElveen, as head of the school board.
  •  In Sims 2, the school was on the Town Square, but across the street.

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In Sims 4, I’ve decided to use the 64 x 64 lot in Windenburg countryside for the Municipal Buildings, including the Simdale Valley Town Hall, School, graveyard, and the Town Square.  There’s room (hopefully) in the square between the buildings, for festivals or other activities when they are added to the game or I recreate them.

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From the school, you can see the Petite’s house (the green one straight ahead), the Jones’ house, up the hill to the right, and the Brights’, up the hill to the left.  The Gavigans live off to the left over a hill.

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This rooftop area will be Rocketry Club, for secondary students.  I’ll do a High School update soon but first I have to finish their classrooms and  create some high school students!

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Here’s the auditorium/gym, which is pretty much identical to Sims 2.  I wasn’t able to get everyone in the auditorium or get Adrianna to use the mic, since I was playing as Isaiah for open house, and he’s a child and can’t use the microphone.

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Although these aren’t real high school students, here’s the first high school classroom.  I’m going to edit it a little to make it a science & math class, and add a humanities classroom for high school in the basement.

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Here’s last year’s school photo, with Elise, the kindergarten teacher, and her class on the back row (Benjiman is no longer in Simdale Valley) (Benjiman, Harrison, Charlotte, and Sienna).

Last year’s teacher was Mrs. Newman, and her 4th/5th grade class was on the front row. (Isaiah, Madeleine, Marsha, and Yuki)  Now Elsa has joined the class.

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Readers of the Take Me to the Moon legacy story probably recognize Adrianna Tesla, as the new primary teacher.   I never got to play her and Dennis, and their teen daughter, Elizabeth, like I wanted to in the legacy, so I brought them in to Simdale Valley where they can have a long life.

I am still working through technical difficulties with playing the school sessions.  Right now, the primary class and kindergarten class are each clubs, but when I played them as the teacher, who is the club leader, it did not work well because the teacher can’t use the kids’ items, and therefore couldn’t instruct everyone to join in on them.  Playing as Isaiah Gavigan, one of the kids, worked much better.

For now it seems I’ll have to piecemeal the school updates instead of being able to have all the students in different classes there simultaneously, although the way it is supposed to work, is if the school is the clubhouse for each class, even if I am not actively playing them they are supposed to show up when I play another “club.”  The classroom doors are club doors, to keep the other classes out.  For Open House, I had to remove the club door so the parents could enter the room, and I cheated the parents to the school using MC Command Center “Summon.”

Any tips or pointers?



















10 Comments so far:

  1. I love the school 😀 It’s so cool and realistic looking 🙂 this was a very fun update 🙂

    • Thanks, V! I’m so glad you liked it, they take a little more trouble than a regular update but when I don’t do school updates I really miss having a sense of all the kids of that age together.

  2. How neat that you’re bringing over some of your Teslas to this save! Do you think you will bring over any more? Or would that mess up your genealogy?

    Your school and classrooms look great! And let me know if/how you get your auditorium to work. I had a big fail trying to get a stage platform to work with lowered seating. My sims wouldn’t sit in the chairs and kept coming up on stage. :\

    I saw some other people talking about using the clubs system in their schools, and in theory it sounds really cool, but I think I’m way too much of a control freak to do it that way. I like the club system for a lot of things, but when I’m playing my schools, I like to have every single sim controllable and doing what I tell them to do in the right order, lol!

    • Laura, thanks, and yeah, I’d really like them to add platforms/stages/stair landings that work. I built a gazebo for town square for performers, but it doesn’t work, like you say.

      I think I may end up also going back to my other method for school updates– making a temporary household and playing them. I was very frustrated not to be able to direct them since in school everyone can’t do whatever they want, but I had no way to make anyone do anything, except the one controllable sim out of the group, unless I could have them “go here together” or “sit here together.”

      I don’t know if I’ll bring over any other Teslas but I haven’t ruled it out. Or I might bring over other sims I grow attached to there. But probably not much, because of my own sense of continuity. Ever since Elizabeth Tesla aged up to teen I wanted to make her playable, so I started thinking of bringing them over then. Adrianna’s always been fascinating as well, to me, but she made Ewan, Gen 5 heir, miserable as his girlfriend so she didn’t marry into the main line and I never got to play her. She’s a made-over townie.

  3. Carla says:

    Do American teachers have an equivalent saying of “never smile until Easter”? It’s advice teachers are given here sometimes, to be really tough on your students for first term and then loosen up a little bit once they know you mean business! That’s what Adrianna’s initial stern demeanour reminded me of, lol!

    Your school looks amazing! I’m glad you have a lot that works for you in TS4 now as well. 🙂

    • Hi Carla! Yes, I guess Americans are more prone to smiling because our expression is “Don’t smile till Christmas.” (I think that’s what I’ve heard). Thanks, I’m working on the high school areas, just added a principal’s office yesterday too. Thanks for commenting 🙂

      • Carla says:

        Ha! I figured there might be an equivalent expression. The difference is probably to do with the way the school year works here. We go from early February to mid-December, so Easter is nearer to the beginning of our school year, while Christmas is at the very end (and actually does not fall within the school year at all, technically).

        • I was trying to remember if your school year was opposite ours on the calendar but for some reason I talked myself out of it. That’ right, so it’s basically the same thing. I can’t believe I forgot that! (My cousins are Australian, from Sydney, their mom was from Queensland and married my dad’s brother, and my best friend in high school was Australian. She was from Melbourne. But I’ve never been there).

  4. maisie says:

    Ah the school is amazing! Love all the little kids and their differing personalities! Exciting to see Tesla pop up in this save too!! I was thinking Adrianna might be just trying to keep control of her classroom, you don’t want to jump into being a lenient teacher unless you want a headache. I really like all the centers that you have for your school, I have an entire portion of my elementary school that needs finished, I’ve kept it open for inspiration, and your school definitely hits that itch!

  5. Thanks, Maisie, so glad you enjoyed seeing the school and it gave you a bit of inspiration because I love seeing your schools, just the way you build & decorate, and also the updates. I think so too about Adrianna, she’s just very self-assured and doesn’t mind saying things the way she sees them.

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